Up First briefing: Biden impeachment inquiry; Libya flood; ineffective decongestants


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Today’s top stories

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced a formal impeachment inquiry into President Biden yesterday. McCarthy claimed that Biden used his office to “coordinate with Hunter Biden’s business partners regarding Hunter’s role in Burisma – the Ukrainian energy company.” The White House described the act as “extreme political at its worst.”

Kevin McCarthy, R. House Speaker, California, speaks on Tuesday at the Capitol.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks in the Capitol on Tuesday.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Susan Davis, NPR’s

Up first

host, says today that there’s almost no possibility of a conviction at the end of an investigation. Senate Republicans such as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Mitt Romney expressed skepticism. Davis claims McCarthy’s announcement does not make him appear “particularly strong” in this moment. In the coming weeks, the Capitol will be dominated by how he handles the impeachment investigation and possible government shutdown.

  • Russian Vladimir Putin and North Korea Kim Jong Un met in Vladivostok today, when Putin gave Kim a guided tour of the country’s launch facility. Charles Maynes, NPR’s Charles Maynes, says that the setting is “really intended to impress”, and it was of particular interest because North Korea failed to launch satellites recently. Maynes says the timing is linked to the conflict between Russia and the West in Ukraine. Check your medicine cabinet before the cold and flu season. A panel of FDA advisors concluded yesterday that the key ingredient of dozens of cold-and allergy-medicines, phenylephrine does not work. Many over-the counter medications contain phenylephrine, such as Sudafed and Benadryl. Allison Aubrey, NPR’s Allison Aubrey, says that the idea that phenylephrine does not work isn’t a new

. In 2015, studies revealed that it was ineffective. In the early 2000s, laws passed to combat methamphetamine usage pushed products containing pseudo-ephedrine off the shelves because it could be used in meth production. So, over-the-counter medications had to be reformulated.Thousands are dead, and thousands are feared missing

  • after catastrophic floods across eastern Libya from Storm Daniel. The storm ruptured dams and submerged entire neighborhoods.Anas El Gomati, the director of a Libyan think tank,

got a picture of the devastation from residents inside Derna city. He told NPR’s Ruth Sherlock the magnitude of the disaster was “epic”, unlike anything Libyans have seen in recent history. Sherlock reported that it took days for aid to reach the most affected areas. This essay was written A. Martinez

  • . He joined NPR in the year 2021 as a Morning Edition and Up First host. He previously hosted Take Two at LAist, Los Angeles. You will lose if you take the challenge. I spoke to him about his new children’s book, Just Because.I’ll admit I was skeptical because writing a children’s book seems to be something celebrities do because they know their fan base will probably buy in. I thought it would be a good idea to have my 10-year-old grandchild read the book and then get her opinion. McConaughey wins this round. When I asked him how a future Grandpa Matthew would be, he responded in his trademark Texas drawl, “Oh, I got chicken skin.” McConaughey wins again!
    Kame Ogito (89) gathers seaweed in Motobu, Okinawa. Seaweed is a part of Okinawans’ low-calorie, plant-based diet. This helps them live longer.

David McLain/Dan Buettner

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    David McLain/Dan Buettner

Kame Ogito (89) gathers seaweed in Motobu, Okinawa. Seaweed is a part of Okinawans’ low-calorie, plant-based diet. This helps them live longer.

David McLain/Dan Buettner

Penguin Random House
Penguin Random House

Dan Buettner’s new Netflix documentary,Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones, looks at five communities across the world where people live longer than average — without intentionally setting out to do so. Allison Aubrey, NPR’s Allison Aubrey, interviewed Buettner and watched his series to find out which habits can help you live longer. Here are a few of her takeaways:

Trade the La-Z-Boy for a mat and a garden: Build more movement into your everyday routine and spend more time sitting on the floor than on a sofa.

Ditch DoorDash and eat like a peasant: The pillars of the blue zones’ diets are whole grains, vegetables, greens, beans and tubers.Revamp your social media:

Curate your feed so you’re seeing content from people who share your interests and inspire you. Swap your afternoon coffee for a nap. Science says that a 20-minute snooze can replace an hour’s worth of sleep. Video was taken of the “river” of red wine. Apple unveiled yesterday its latest iPhone

. In the two weeks since Danelo Cavalcante, a convicted murderer, escaped from prison, he has evaded authorities and stolen a rifle, van, and a camera. Here’s what authorities say it takes to search for a fugitive.

This newsletter was edited by

Majd Al-Waheidi


Rachel Treisman